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The Anglo-Irish and the Great War

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Guest
On 5/31/2017 at 23:58, Jervis said:

Martin,
Thank you, Your post are interesting reading. The reason why I asked for references/sources is:
I am interested to see what authors/books related to Irish involvement in WW1 stands up to scrutiny. Are there books I have read/intend to read that are historically inaccurate or promote an myth. On the basis of your posts, there is nothing that concerns me. 

 

It is a mystery to me why so many authors can't do very basic arithmetic. I can only conclude it is widespread confirmation bias or availability bias among the authors who have focused on the Irish and the Great War. 

 

Yesterday I had a 6 hour rail journey and took Denman's tome to re-read. It is a wonderful piece of forensic research. Re-reading the excellent chapter on Parsons doesn't alter my view on his prejudices. Incidentally the 16th (Irish) Div did eventually send recruiting parties to Newcastle when they eventually acknowledged there were not enough Irish volunteers. The irony, given Parson's initial resistance. Presumably Geordie slum birds were preferable to empty ranks. It would be fair to say that he had the most difficult task of any Divisional commander in the British Army. Allegedly there was an outcry among the Officers and Rank and File when he was removed. Denman suggests he was a Protestant who had strong empathy for Home Rule. A rare bird. 

 

Incidentally the 16th ((Irish) Div was the last K2 Division to deploy to the Western Front by a very long way. By time they had scraped together enough to English and Scots to plug the gaps, it was a few months late having left a whole Brigade back in the UK. Part of this was due to the fact it was forced to transfer over 1,000 men to the 10th ((Irish) Div prior to its deployment to the Dardanelles, much to Redmond's outrage. Robbing Peter to pay Paul. The inescapable fact was that the Irish could not man their own Formations in 1914-15 or indeed at any stage during the War. 

 

MG

 

 

Edited by Guest
correction.

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healdav
11 hours ago, QGE said:

 

 

It is a mystery to me why so many authors can't do very basic arithmetic. I can only conclude it is widespread confirmation bias or availability bias among the authors who have focused on the Irish and the Great War. 

 

 

 

As one who has written an inventory of men involved in the war, I can tell you that it isn't a case of arithmetic, it's a case of knowing which source is even vaguely correct.

In my case all the contemporary sources say that there were 3000 men involved (a figure still claimed today by politicians in speeches; I did ask the Minister of Defence to justify his statekment, but only got a harrumph - and I've known the bloke since he was a t school - I worked with his father), and this was being claimed from 1914/15 onwards (although a German source claims some 8,000). For the sum total I can get somewhere near 3,000, but that includes men who joined the US army, and that is hardly relevant to 1914/15.

The 8,000 that the Germans claimed in 1915, is by my calculation about 7990 men out. In other words, I can only trace 6 or perhaps 7 (backed up by local contemporary police sources). I got to my 'totals', by sitting and ging through, sometimes two or three times, every file in the National Archives on WW1.

Frakly, I'm not sure whether an arithmetic total is of the slightest interest, it is the name of the men and their story, which counts, and I find it difficult to understand the modern penchant, even in university theses for just putting down numbers with graphs and pie charts. Indeed, I think it disgraceful. Have a look at the book produced from a thesis on the White Lady resistance network, and you won't find a single name (which I think is disgraceful). It even says that here were two or three in the network in the are I am interested in, but doesn't give names, so impossible to check.

My local university has given an MA to someone who produced a thesis on the same area as me, but one again only numbers and anecdotes, and they are hellbent on preventing my book, which has names and biographies, from being published.

Things are not as easy as they might seem.

Incidentally, I have met Irishmen who claim that the ONLY 'British' casualties were the Irish. Tripe, I know, but that is believed by some.

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Guest
2 hours ago, healdav said:

As one who has written an inventory of men involved in the war, I can tell you that it isn't a case of arithmetic, it's a case of knowing which source is even vaguely correct.

 

 

I don't think it is too much to expect authors to start with the official stats and get the calculations correct. Calculations that a child could do. We live in hope. 

 

MG

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healdav
4 hours ago, QGE said:

 

I don't think it is too much to expect authors to start with the official stats and get the calculations correct. Calculations that a child could do. We live in hope. 

 

MG

My 'official' statistics say 3,000, a total that isn't justified anywhere except in the statistics without any justification.

I stick by my totals, which I haven't totted up, but which I can ustiy, rather than numbers which seem as much designed to glorify the people quoting them as anything else.

 

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voltaire60
9 hours ago, QGE said:

 

I don't think it is too much to expect authors to start with the official stats and get the calculations correct. Calculations that a child could do. We live in hope. 

 

MG

 

      Martin:  Below is the last word on official  figures. A large portrait * of the gentleman below should forthwith be placed on your office wall, in plain sight when you are working-with the legend  "Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics". After I was introduced to the use of statistics at the LSE with the proposition that the average number of legs in human beings is less than 2, then I know that statistics are in a solar system all of their own.

 

       Pip,pip  (Yes, I know there have been odd humans with more than 2 legs....but it's the average)    *Followed shortly by a large tincture.

Image result for disraeli

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Guest
12 hours ago, voltaire60 said:

 

      Martin:  Below is the last word on official  figures. A large portrait * of the gentleman below should forthwith be placed on your office wall, in plain sight when you are working-with the legend  "Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics".

 

 

Voltaire - I will have to politely decline your suggestion. I would rather stick pins in my eyes. I find the line "lies, damned lies and statistics' is usually the last refuge of those who are losing an argument and invariably don't understand stats. It is my least favourite quote. I wince when it is trotted out as it often is on the hallowed turf of the GWF. Personally I prefer Betrand Russell:

 

"Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth, but supreme beauty—a beauty cold and austere, like that of sculpture, without appeal to any part of our weaker nature, without the gorgeous trappings of painting or music, yet sublimely pure, and capable of a stern perfection such as only the greatest art can show.”

 

MG 'cold and austere' 

Edited by Guest

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voltaire60
48 minutes ago, QGE said:

 

Voltaire - I will have to politely decline your suggestion. I would rather stick pins in my eyes. I find the line "lies, damned lies and statistics' is usually the last refuge of those who are usually losing an argument and typically don't understand stats. It is my least favourite quote. I wince when it is trotted out as it often is on the hallowed turf of the GWF. Personally I prefer Betrand Russell:

 

"Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth, but supreme beauty—a beauty cold and austere, like that of sculpture, without appeal to any part of our weaker nature, without the gorgeous trappings of painting or music, yet sublimely pure, and capable of a stern perfection such as only the greatest art can show.”

 

MG 'cold and austere' 

 

      No-Not cold and austere- Statistics is the numeric equivalent of photographs and the proposition that "the camera cannot lie". The numbers, like the image are correct-it's how they are constructed and  where is  the massaging (real,imagined,deliberate or accidental). In any long time series of statistics, it's not so much the lure of a mass of alluring-looking data-it's whether the classifications and the groupings-ie the methodology-has changed. It's a frequent problem in modern government (No politics here!!)  but the Victorians and Edwardians were just as crafty as their modern-days equivalent mandarins and government statisticians. I would want to be sure of the constancy of methodology in a long time series-such as recruiting statistics- before  using them too much.

    I find that the book "Statistics" by the eminent statistician Sir Robert Giffen (Macmillan,1913) a useful guide to the mindset of Victorian stats. I hope you know the book well. There is quite a cottage industry in academia reassessing Victorian statistics and their methodology in recent decades. There is no reason to think that any military statistics were immune from the same problems- the obvious one being the question as to whether the methodology of statisticians in Ireland was the same as in Whitehall. .

    Now have that tiincture.

         Pip,pip

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Guest
On 6/4/2017 at 21:09, voltaire60 said:

 

      No-Not cold and austere- Statistics is the numeric equivalent of photographs and the proposition that "the camera cannot lie". The numbers, like the image are correct-it's how they are constructed and  where is  the massaging (real,imagined,deliberate or accidental). In any long time series of statistics, it's not so much the lure of a mass of alluring-looking data-it's whether the classifications and the groupings-ie the methodology-has changed. It's a frequent problem in modern government (No politics here!!)  but the Victorians and Edwardians were just as crafty as their modern-days equivalent mandarins and government statisticians. I would want to be sure of the constancy of methodology in a long time series-such as recruiting statistics- before  using them too much.

    I find that the book "Statistics" by the eminent statistician Sir Robert Giffen (Macmillan,1913) a useful guide to the mindset of Victorian stats. I hope you know the book well. There is quite a cottage industry in academia reassessing Victorian statistics and their methodology in recent decades. There is no reason to think that any military statistics were immune from the same problems- the obvious one being the question as to whether the methodology of statisticians in Ireland was the same as in Whitehall. .

    Now have that tiincture.

         Pip,pip

 

 

I am reasonably confident that when the GARBA states 'born in Ireland' the man was born in Ireland and not England Scotland, Wales, India or 'Other'. For argument's sake, even if men born in England of Irish parents were included in the former, there would have to be a gigantic massaging of the numbers to get to figures anywhere close to the proportions claimed by some authors.

 

Added to this are the 'cold and austere' facts that the Irish-born as a per centage of England's population was recorded separately in the decennial censuses. If a man is shown 'born in Dublin', I would generally accept that he was born in Dublin, Ireland. That the proportion of Irish-born in England never exceeded 3% of the population is a limit factor. For the Irish born + English born of Irish parents to have been say 4% of the population by the next census the 'excess' relative growth rate of this sub group would have been +33%, something that I would argue is so unlikley as to be nigh impossible given the base numbers of 600,0000. I don't believe that a population of that size simply can grow that fast on a net basis relative to the host population.

 

Added to this are other factors such as average wages relative to a soldiers basic pay. The main reason why the Irish were historically over-represented in the Victorian Army is one of simple economics. The pay of a soldier exceeded the pay of an agricultural labourer in Southern Ireland by a decent margin. No so in England. So, an impoverished labourer emigrating to England to escape the Great Famine would have significantly better employment prospects. Other austere facts supporting this can be found in employment data such as (for example) collieries in the North East. Some records survive showing disproportionately high numbers of Irish coal miners in collieries in Co Durham for example (compares to average population) and we know their wages relative to those of a soldier at the time.There was little economic incentive for an Irish emigrant (or indeed his English born son) to leave the pits to join the Army. 

 

The point here is that the Statistics in GARBA can in some way be cross-checked against other data such as the decennial Censuses from 1841 to 1911. Added to this we can do large scale sampling of battalion data in the 1911 Census to double check and treble check. We have data on nearly all 148 Line Infantry Battalions or some 132,000 individuals. Large scale sampling shows place of birth for over 95% (as one might expect) by town and county (and therefore country). It throws up interesting anomalies such as Scottish battalions with more men born in England than in Scotland. It also shows large Regiments such as the KRRC which could recruit nationally having disproportionately low proportions of men born outside England etc. 83 men out of 3,223 or just 2.7% across all four Regular Battalions of the KRRC were born in Ireland.  95% were born in England despite its UK footprint.

 

Edit. The 2nd Bn King's (Liverpool Regt)  - the most Irish of all English cities -  recorded 6.7% of the 977 men enumerated in the 911 Census as born in Ireland. Only 50 years earlier one in four Liverpudlians had been born in Ireland. 

 

There is a separate thread on this which also shows extremely low proportions of Irish-born serving in non-Irish line infantry regiments. Large scale sampling suggests Irish-born did not seem to be particularly keen on joining the British Army to serve in non-Irish regiments in 1911.  In that year 10.2% of the Line Infantry was Irish-born. Irish battalions represented 10.8% of all Line Infantry battalions suggesting the Irish-born would barely cover the Irish battalions and by extension the Irish-born serving in non-Irish regiments were limited in number. This sits perfectly with the large scale sampling of 1911 Census data at Battalion level. A good example of how cross-referencing two separate data sets can provide reassurances on the integrity of the underlying data.

 

Lastly, Irish emigration is often used to explain the shortfall. The Irish diaspora are alleged to have enlisted in large (but unspecified) numbers in the armies of the British Empire and later the US Army. Between 1861 and 1911 emigration from England actually exceeded emigration from Ireland and Scotland combined (in absolute numbers). Some 6.9 million Englishmen and women emigrated during the period, or 1.1 million more than Irish and Scots emigration combined; something that might surprise a few people. It is distinctly possible that expatriate Englishmen also joined the same Armies in higher proportions - something that is often conveniently forgotten by those attempting to inflate the Irish participation relative to the other 'home' countries. In the decade between 1901 and 1911 Censuses nearly 2 million Englishmen and women emigrated - a figure that is slightly in Excess of 5% of the English and Welsh population in 1911 - somewhere in the region of one in 20 Englishmen and women had emigrated in the decade.

 

There are manifold ways in which we can stress-test the integrity of a single set of Victorian and Edwardian data against other available data sets. Personally I am confident in the data.  Contrary to some authors' views on the Irish in the British Army, I believe the Irish-born were possibly slightly under-represented in the Army immediately before the Great War*. The recruiting challenges that dogged the Irish regiments predate 1914. 

 

I would be happy to be shown otherwise. Any mistakes are entirely mine. MG

 

 

* Taking the 1911 Census and adding together those recorded as having been born in Ireland we get 6.4% of the UK's population. If the Irish diaspora born outside of Ireland to Irish parents are included we get to 8.3% of the UK's population. This compares to 7.4% recorded 'Irish born' as serving in the Army. The Irish were either slightly under-represented in the Army or slightly over-represented depending on one's assumptions about expatriate Irish resident in England & Wales and Scotland. 

 

The data on Irish born recruits and their propensity to enlist in Irish Regiments (or otherwise) was well recorded in the annual GARBA . We know that Irish regiments had some of the poorest recruiting track records based on the dates the Army Numbers were issued by each regiment. If impoverished Irishmen could not be induced to serve in sufficient numbers pre-war, it rather stretches the imagination that English-born men of Irish parents who had better employment prospects should enlist in higher proportions. It seems unlikely. 

 

 

Edited by Guest
typos

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Guest

The Imperial War Museum believes that there were 30,000 Irishmen serving in the Army and another 30,000 in the Reserves at the outbreak of the War. The total of 60,000 exceeds the official figures by 17.5%. Here is the original quote (below) and the link click

 

"The British Expeditionary Force that left for France in the early days of the war contained several units from Irish regiments. Their ranks had also traditionally included English Roman Catholics. At theoutbreak of war in August 1914 there were around 30,000 Irish men serving in the British Army. Those serving overseas were recalled back to Britain and another 30,000 reservists were called up"

 

 

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voltaire60

Image result for posters yesterday the trenches   Tripped on this while looking for something else. Picture courtesy Library of Congress

 

  

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Guest

Keith Jeffrey's article on "Ireland and the First World War: The Historical Context" is worth reading, although he also makes a claim that there were

 

"28,000 Irish-born regular soldiers and 30,000 Reservists who were immediately called up back to the colours" 

 

No reference is provided. The GARBA figures for Oct 1913 are:

 

Regulars........................20,780

Army Reservists.............17,804

Special Reservists.........12,462

 

Total...............................51,046

 

The sticking point in this article, and one that persists in the historiography of Ireland and the Great War is the idea that there were 28,000 Irish-born regulars. I don't know the source of this figure, but it is at odds with GARBA 1913 (see below) and the Paper on Irish recruiting which quotes the same figures as GARBA 1913. Jeffrey's figure, repeated by others inflates the recorded figure by 35%

 

 

 

GARA 1913 Nationalities.jpg

Edited by Guest

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Guest

Another myth perpetuated in some publications is the idea that the majority of Irish recruits were from the rural areas. Again this is at odds with the official data. GARBA 1913 data for Irish Recruiting is shown below. In common with all other Recruiting Districts, the Metropolitan Areas were carved out of the territorial recruiting districts to allow all regiments to tap the urban populations. In No. 11 District and No 12 Disctric the Metropolitan Areas were Dublin, Belfast and Cork.

 

The data shows that for all Irish Recruits, 59% came from these three districts (1,563 of 2,655 recruits). When we look at those recruits who joined their local regiment (first column) the proportion is 37%. When the survey extends to those who joined other infantry regiments, the number jumps to 80%. Again this is fairly consistent with other parts of the Uk, for the simple fact that the UK had urbanised by the 1861 Census (more people living in urban areas than rural areas). While Ireland may have been less urbanised, the majority of its recruits came from just three Metropolitan areas and 80% of its Infantry recruits.   

 

Note also the right hand section which records the 4 year trend. This clerly shows an increase in recruits from the urban areas.. Also the last column shows the numbers in each regiment recruited from their own territorial recruiting area. Each Regiment at this stage averaged around 1,862 regular Other Ranks (1st and 2nd Bns plus regulars serving as Staff in the Special Reserve Battalions. What is notable is the Reiments cetred on the most rural areas had less than half their men from their own recruiting grounds. Similar to English Welsh and Scottish rural regiments, their shortfalls would be made up largely from recruits from the high-density Metropolitan areas.

 

A cross reference against the 1911 Census data is possible to attempt to provide additional weight to the argumnet that Irish recruits were more likely to have been urban than rural. 

 

Any mistakes are mine. MG

 

Irish Recruiting 1913.

 

 

GARBA 1914 Urban Recruits.jpg

 

A second table of interest is the measure of urbanisation in Ireland in 1911. The population was 4.38 million of whom 1.11 million lived in towns and cities with populations in excess of 10,000. While urbanisation was only 25% and significantly lower than England, the concentration of the population in the 'inhabited houses' is quite telling. From the data below there were 309,000 people living in just 36,000 houses in Dublin metropolitan area; more than eight people per household.. The figure for Belfast Met was just over 5.  Cork was in excess of 6. The average for Irish urban areas ex Dublin was 5.4, including Dublin was 6.1.  I suspect urban slum dwelling was a primary driver behind Irish urban recruiting, which makes Parson's comments about Tyneside 'slum birds' even more challenging.

Irish Urbanisation 1911.jpg

Edited by Guest

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charlesmessenger

Jarvis's comment that Parsons did not acknowledge the Leinsters in his 'old chums' is curious. He made C Coy of the 7th Leinsters his officer cadet company for producing additional officers for his division. It appears to have worked pretty well.

 

Charles M  

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Michael Pegum
On ‎25‎/‎05‎/‎2017 at 21:13, QGE said:

By Anglo-Irish I mean the English (mainly) and Protestants (mainly) who lived in Southern Ireland and had Unionist sympathies. This is not about Ulster or Ulstermen, rather those Unionists who lived in Southern Ireland

 

 

With respect, I think this thread has got off the point, and is now discussing the numbers of men born in Ireland, or of Irish-born parents, who were in the services. The great majority of these would never have been called 'Anglo-Irish'.

 

The Anglo-Irish thought of themselves as Irish (and the English regarded them as Irish - the 6th Lord Longford was bullied at Eton as an Irish Sinn Feiner) and some of the families had been in Ireland for centuries; indeed, many were originally Norman, not English. Some had deep Irish roots, but their ancestors had become Protestant to retain their lands and rights.

 

However, they were of a different class and mostly of a different Christian denomination,and seen as oppressors of the majority, who retaliated with intermittent violence and by denying their nationality. Their association with landlordism added to their alienation, and they were, largely, Unionist in politics. There were, of course, exceptions on both sides: Protestant republicans and Catholic unionists.

 

Many of the families lost heavily in the Great War, some were evicted in the War of Independence and, like a lot of middle-class Protestants, many felt they could not go on living in the Free State, which rapidly became an ostentatiously Catholic country.

 

Some of the books mentioned in this thread have dealt with the subject, and the conclusion seems to be that, as a class, their time had ended; an inevitable, and slightly sad, fact of history. 

 

Michael

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Guest
On 6/8/2017 at 21:09, Michael Pegum said:

With respect, I think this thread has got off the point, and is now discussing the numbers of men born in Ireland, or of Irish-born parents, who were in the services. The great majority of these would never have been called 'Anglo-Irish'.

 

Michael

 

Michael - Thank you for your thoughts. it is a fair observation.

 

My thinking is that unless we can establish how many Irishmen (Irish born and descended of Irish-born) then it is difficult to understand the relative number of the  Anglo-Irish sub-set who served (Irish born descended of Irish-born). Anecdotal evidence suggests that the Anglo-Irish were disproportionately over-represented in the Officer ranks of Irish regiments, even those dominated by Catholic recruits - at least in 1914-1916. Cooper  - possibly an unreliable source - claims that 90% of the Officers were 'Irish', which seems to acknowledge the Anglo-Irish as being 'Irish' regardless of their place of birth (not all were born in Ireland). I am extremely interested in trying to establish more precise figures. Inevitably, for the purposes of the discussion this means going over old ground on occasion.

 

The 6th Earl of Longford being a Catholic and a Nationalist helps highlight your point that not all Anglo-Irish were Protestant or Unionists.  For the majority of us who do not have an intimate understanding of Irish history, I believe it is a common (incorrect) assumption that Anglo-Irish were all Protestant Unionists. The anomalies are of great interest. I note his father (the 5th Earl) died at Gallipoli with the 2nd Mounted Brigade at Scimitar Hill which again helps illustrate the fact that Anglo-Irish were serving beyond the confines of 'Irish' regiments. He (the 5th Earl) was originally a Life Guard -a regiment with historically low proportions of Catholics in 1914. As a peer he is easy to trace, however the Anglo-Irish who were not titled are doubtless a more elusive group. 

Edited by Guest

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voltaire60

Martin- I am not sure that this approach is going to be other  than a post facto  methodological dead-end.  A century on and there is no methodological way of ascertaining with any degree of certainty  whether anybody  “Irish” or “Anglo-Irish”  regarded themselves as being of either community (let alone both)  -let alone generate enough certain examples out of the potential  data set of possible candidates to make it in any way “reliable”.

     I make the following observations:

1)      “Anglo-Irish”  is a particular term in the history of Ireland-generally meaning those of English descent who came over and “settled”/stole land in Ireland from the reign of Henry II onwards. It is a rather discrete community.  Hence my suggestion that you would find Burke’s Landed Gentry for Ireland useful, as well as the peerages.  This community had a high degree of inter-relationship by marriage. It is generally assumed to be Protestant, although there are perhaps more Catholic gentry in Ireland than might be thought from reading through Irish historiography of other than the last 20 years or so. A  good example of Catholic gentry is Daniel O’Connell, while an equally good example of a Protestant who supported Home Rule would be Charles Stewart Parnell.

2)      The Irish middle class (ie non-landed gentry) as a part of the Anglo-Irish “Ascendancy” is more difficult to measure-  Church of Ireland clergy, members of the King’s Inns and graduates of TCD (rather than UCD) might help on this. But it would be the devil’s own job over an eternity to establish this.

3)      A good area might be the officer class of  the Irish regiments in 1914 and pre-1914 and those of Ascendancy families in non-Irish regiments.  With 2 speculations:

i)                    That it would be similar to the officer structure of Scottish Highland regiments over the same timeframe in terms of landed gentry/peerage officers from  the home area

ii)                   That it took a battering during the war-  Given the restricted numbers of  Anglo-Irish Ascendancy, I agree that they are almost certainly over-represented in the officer class of either Irish regiments or all British Army regiments pre-1914-but this may be just proving an accepted truism and no more over-representation than in officers from peerage/landed gentry background throughout the British Army.  What would be of interest is commissions during the war into Irish regiments or of Irish candidates into any regiments. I venture to suggest that the Irish regiments would likely show a slew towards Catholic officers as the war progressed, though probably the Protestant cadre remained stronger  for a longer time than in other non-Irish regiments. I would look for evidence of Irishmen (ie Irish born) being commissioned into Non-Irish regiments.

It may be a paradox   that the latter years of the war might show an increasingly Non-Irish OR base increasingly led by an Irish but Catholic officer  stock Or increasingly Non-Irish by any measure-birth or background).

4)       I am not at all sure that  commissions into Irish regiments as the war progressed represents often any real connection with Ireland.  I have 2 local casualties for my area of study who held commissions in Irish regiments but neither could be classed as Irish-  2Lt Frank Harry Bethhell,, the eldest son of a London property developer, with no Irish connections that I can fathom. And 2Lt Clacy William Patrick May, 4th Royal Irish Rifles- his father paid for his flying lessons and Royal Aero Club certfication at Hendon, having arranged that his son would be commissioned directly into the Royal Flying Corps. His commission into 4RIR seems to be nothing other than War Office convention and convenience and, again, there is no known connection with Ireland. And of course, anecdotally and at pub quiz level Stanley Holloway in the Connaught Rangers does not smack of an Irish heritage. It looks to me that commissions into Irish regiments may have been often for War Office convenience rather than any conception of affinity from the candidate.-And the reality that Ireland did not have the stock of potential officers to commission or commission up anyway.

5)       I am wary of your desire to do the 26 counties of the 1922 Treaty. Anglo-Irish Ascendancy families of the Great war of course knew of no such distinction as the 1922 border-perhaps  exemplified in the common arguments about the 6 counties being Northern Ireland rather than Ulster, as the latter is historically 9 counties,3 of which were in the Free State after 1922.

6)      I cannot see that  selecting  battalions of New Armies as being “Irish” would do other  than to choose a database where the answer was already known. But it would be worthwhile to chase down how many battalions  talked-up “Irish” in 1914 to bring in recruits to the Colours and how this changed during the war-eg The figures for Irish born or Irish surname in Tyneside Irish or similar battalions from Glasgow and Liverpool. It seems to me that London Irish was anything but that even before the war (I have a local casualty and have looked at those killed with him-no known Irish heritage). Indeed, it seems that London Irish was a unit that more than most turned a blind eye to under-age recruiting  in 1914 due to the lack of “Irish”  recruits coming forward (Comparing London Irish with the London Bn. of RWF might be interesting)

7)      The long-term trend of the Irish not to enlist in the British Army  (I accept GARBA statistics of Born Ireland as reliable)  cannot be explained away by the rise of Irish nationalism and the exhortations of Irish nationalist parties not to join the British Army. The decline was marked  even before the Home Rule agitation began- or even the Land League. So why was it declining even in the time of  Davitt or even the meek and mild Home Government Association??  I suspect that economic  factors may be strongly at play, rather than political or cultural-let alone nationalist.

8)      A query re. GARBA statistics. I have previously suggested that in any long data series, one  must look for changes in the methodology-Let me put up a hypothetical example. It was a surprise to me  that many home battalions of the British Army after the Cardwell reforms were routinely understrength-which suggests to me that  the word “economy” might prevail. We are familiar in our own time with concepts such as the under-take-up of benefits-the Government  budgets for the potential take-up but more reliably works on expected take-up, where there is always a short-fall-and, surprise, surprise, a windfall budgetary gain every year. Suppose that the number of recruits  accepted and attested as being fit to serve starts to rise- causing a real rise in costs. Then-possibly-one way of reducing it would be to tweak the medical requirements  to  bring the numbers back down again to a level the public will “accept”

(A good example of how rules and laws are tweaked is William Shawcross:The Motor Car and Politics 1896-1970”- car driving really took off in the 1920s-with a consequent rise in road deaths-yet, there was no  great outcry about the number of road deaths until they got past c.3,000- that this was a figure that the public “accepted”-Below that the randomness of road deaths  meant the totality did not hit home-above that public concerns started to increase-Shawcross suggests that subsequent road traffic legislation only came about when the number of road deaths started to bubble upwards and the laws were tweaked to being the figures back to the 3000 level or less).

    What I would like you to run is  the long-time  statistical series of Numbers of Recruits Presenting for Enlistment v. Numbers Accepted/ Refused. I have a suspicion that in the years before the Boer War, then a rise in percentage of recruits accepted might be suddenly tweaked by a change in the medical standards for recruits. It’s just a suspicion but  GARBA statistics are reliable for Irish Born. They are not reliable over a long time series without knowing background changes in  what might cause the GARBA figures to vary.

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Guest

This is extremely interesting background reading on Irish Recruiting in the pre War period. It illustrates the susceptibility of the Irish recruiting to the prevalent political climate. While the data does not extend to 1914, it does show the inexoranble decline in Irish recruits from 1881 onward and offers some compelling arguments. 

 

Counter Recuitment in Parnell's Ireland

 

Freely available on the internet. MG

 

Edit. Similarly tis is also an interesting read:

 

Irish Consequences of the Great War

Edited by Guest

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voltaire60

Just one further comment on the long-term decline in Irish recruits for the British Army. I accept fully that the trend is there but I am not sure that the figures should not be weighted. I have not seen it thus far but your statistics assume that the proportion of the population of Ireland  set against  the total population of Great Britain remains at a constant-and it certainly did not do so. Of course, the obvious variation is the Famine. Taking the "rough" decennial figures (No Irish with absolute certainty until 1821) then it might go like this

                  TOTAL GB (MILLIONS)                           IRELAND                       %  IRELAND/GB                         WEIGHTED PROPORTION (1801=100)

 

1801                            16.3                                             5.2                                    31.90                                             100

 

1811                             18.5                                            6.0                                    32.43                                             101.66

 

1821                             21.0                                            6.8                                    32.38                                             101.50

 

1831                             24.1                                            7.8                                    32.36                                             101.44

 

1841                             26.9                                            8.2                                    30.48                                               95.54

 

1851                             27.5                                            6.9                                    25.09                                               78.65

 

1861                             29.1                                            5.8                                    19.93                                               62.47

 

1871                             31.6                                            5.4                                    17.01                                               53.54

 

1881                             35.0                                            5.2                                    14.85                                               46.55

 

1891                             37.9                                            4.7                                    12.40                                               32.71

 

1901                             41.6                                            4.5                                    10.81                                               33.88

 

1911                             45.4                                            4.4.                                     9.69                                               30.37

 

     I have taken population figures from an Internet source. I would prefer to use  figures I consider absolutely  reliable by using  the volume on "Irish Historical Statistics" published by the Royal Irish Academy as a spin-off to the Oxford New History of Ireland-it's a "must" for Irish stats but my copy is boxed up in store- the UK vol by Margaret Deanesley is a must also.

    I have not read through the Irish literature and debates on this but it seems:

1) Both Ireland and rest of GB had accelerating economies 1801-1841 at roughly the same rate

2) The decline in the population of Ireland as a proportion of that of GB starts BEFORE the Famine (Weighted 101.4 in 1831, down to 95.54 by 1841)

3) The impact of the Famine is obvious but the weighted large declines 1851-1881 are not Famine casualties but likely to be external migration

4) There is a statistical "blip" 1891-1901, where the proportion rises.

 

           Another small problem is the weighting of the figures by Irish province or county. It is not a constant as your previous figures already show-But neither is population change by province/county, nor migration. I recollect that during the Famine years, the greatest proportion of migration was from Armagh in the north-east-due to the ease and cost of migration over to Scotland. I am not on top of the Famine debates on population  but it's effects on what is now Northern Ireland  must be considered- The Famine of 1845-1847 knew no borders of 1922. Thus, a chunk of older Irish historiography about the Famine is not statistically reliable.

 

      As to "Counter Recruitment in Parnell's Ireland"- extremely interesting. A "civil war"  phase will polarise the home community-those agin and those for. So the dent in Irish recruiting is no surprise with the advent of the Land War.

     I contend that the primary cause for volunteer recruits in any peacetime year from 1815-1914 is economic. That the comparative decline in Irish recruits (measured as Place of Birth in GARBA)  must be set against the changing nature of other economic opportunities- and that the longer term decline from the peak year of 1815 must be factored against  other economic criteria- the most important being external migration. From the Famine onwards, Irish migration was a feature of the Irish economy-  I suspect for 2 main reasons:

1) The comparative cost of emigration and it's availability- I suspect that in real terms, the cost of emigration after the immediate Famine years decreased in real terms.

2) The well-known historical  phenomenon of migration "push and pull"-  It is hard for the first migrant to go to an alien land. But once a community is established- say Boston USA or Melbourne, then it changes the nature of subsequent migration. It changes from being "push" as the primary factor- that is, harsh conditions in Ireland -to "pull"-that is, the draw of going to an established community where you can fit in easily- eg Buying passage tickets for younger siblings  In my home area of the South-West it's the phenomenon known as "Cousin Jack"

3) "Counter recruitment" is concerned with the Land War. It does not factor in the effects of the agricultural depression of the 1870s - For this, the effects on migration in a similar area must be considered as a "control"-say, the Highlands of Scotland or rural Wales. It is NOT correct to factor ONE cause against ONE effect. Yes, the political bitterness of the Land War affected recruiting. BUT- try setting  the number of Irish recruits against the total out-turn of Irish males of military service age. ie Make a list of  the numbers of male Irish migrants a)Outside the UK and ii) Within the UK  and table it against  the number of Irish recruits into the British Army. I suspect that it would show a) That when external migration is set against Irish recruiting it would show that migration is by far the greater  phenomenon and that, whatever the motives of the Irish-born recruit for enlisting, that Irish recruiting is small beer in the greater scheme of things 

                                           

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Guest
17 hours ago, voltaire60 said:

Martin- I am not sure that this approach is going to be other  than a post facto  methodological dead-end.  A century on and there is no methodological way of ascertaining with any degree of certainty  whether anybody  “Irish” or “Anglo-Irish”  regarded themselves as being of either community (let alone both)  -let alone generate enough certain examples out of the potential  data set of possible candidates to make it in any way “reliable”. Presumably focusing on those who had their houses burned to the ground might help establish a large subset.  I suspect the 1914-15 Star medal roll for the three Irish Divisions might also help.

 

I make the following observations:

 

1)      “Anglo-Irish”  is a particular term in the history of Ireland-generally meaning those of English descent who came over and “settled”/stole land in Ireland from the reign of Henry II onwards. It is a rather discrete community.  Hence my suggestion that you would find Burke’s Landed Gentry for Ireland useful, as well as the peerages.  I am using this and other similar sources. This community had a high degree of inter-relationship by marriage. It is generally assumed to be Protestant, although there are perhaps more Catholic gentry in Ireland than might be thought from reading through Irish historiography of other than the last 20 years or so. A  good example of Catholic gentry is Daniel O’Connell, while an equally good example of a Protestant who supported Home Rule would be Charles Stewart Parnell.

 

2)      The Irish middle class (ie non-landed gentry) as a part of the Anglo-Irish “Ascendancy” is more difficult to measure-  Church of Ireland clergy, members of the King’s Inns and graduates of TCD (rather than UCD) might help on this. But it would be the devil’s own job over an eternity to establish this. I have TCD fought in the Great War whch will form part of the underlying data set. The difficulties are tracing them back to their pre-war lives.

 

3)      A good area might be the officer class of  the Irish regiments in 1914 and pre-1914 and those of Ascendancy families in non-Irish regiments.  With 2 speculations:

i)  That it would be similar to the officer structure of Scottish Highland regiments over the same timeframe in terms of landed gentry/peerage officers from  the home area

ii)   That it took a battering during the war-  Given the restricted numbers of  Anglo-Irish Ascendancy, I agree that they are almost certainly over-represented in the officer class of either Irish regiments or all British Army regiments pre-1914-but this may be just proving an accepted truism and no more over-representation than in officers from peerage/landed gentry background throughout the British Army.  What would be of interest is commissions during the war into Irish regiments or of Irish candidates into any regiments. I venture to suggest that the Irish regiments would likely show a slew towards Catholic officers as the war progressed, though probably the Protestant cadre remained stronger  for a longer time than in other non-Irish regiments. I would look for evidence of Irishmen (ie Irish born) being commissioned into Non-Irish regiments.

It may be a paradox   that the latter years of the war might show an increasingly Non-Irish OR base increasingly led by an Irish but Catholic officer  stock Or increasingly Non-Irish by any measure-birth or background).  I have the 1914 Star and 1914-15 Star medal rolls as another underlay for data which can be filtered/sorted by Regiment and (eventually) Battalion. For the 1914-15 Star  the focus will be on the 10th (Irish) Div, 16th (Irish) Div, 36th (Ulster) Div which should be a large enough sample. Fatalities were extremely high for all the original Cohorts (roughly 30 Officers per Battalion and 36 Battalions, meaning some 1,000 odd Officers with strong likelihood of being able to trace their roots... we shall see. Highland Div and 12th (Eastern) Div will be useful Controls or the Analysis - both recruiting in largely rural areas yet both also highly dependent on their ability to tap the Metropolitan recruiting areas.  

 

4)       I am not at all sure that  commissions into Irish regiments as the war progressed represents often any real connection with Ireland.  Agreed. I have 2 local casualties for my area of study who held commissions in Irish regiments but neither could be classed as Irish-  2Lt Frank Harry Bethhell,, the eldest son of a London property developer, with no Irish connections that I can fathom. And 2Lt Clacy William Patrick May, 4th Royal Irish Rifles- his father paid for his flying lessons and Royal Aero Club certfication at Hendon, having arranged that his son would be commissioned directly into the Royal Flying Corps. His commission into 4RIR seems to be nothing other than War Office convention and convenience and, again, there is no known connection with Ireland. And of course, anecdotally and at pub quiz level Stanley Holloway in the Connaught Rangers does not smack of an Irish heritage. It looks to me that commissions into Irish regiments may have been often for War Office convenience rather than any conception of affinity from the candidate.-And the reality that Ireland did not have the stock of potential officers to commission or commission up anyway.  Hence my focus will anchor on the original officers in each Battalion/regiment/formation in the three relevant Division. 

 

5)       I am wary of your desire to do the 26 counties of the 1922 Treaty. Anglo-Irish Ascendancy families of the Great war of course knew of no such distinction as the 1922 border-perhaps  exemplified in the common arguments about the 6 counties being Northern Ireland rather than Ulster, as the latter is historically 9 counties,3 of which were in the Free State after 1922. The analysis will be for Ireland pre 1922

 

6)      I cannot see that  selecting  battalions of New Armies as being “Irish” would do other  than to choose a database where the answer was already known. But it would be worthwhile to chase down how many battalions  talked-up “Irish” in 1914 to bring in recruits to the Colours and how this changed during the war-eg The figures for Irish born or Irish surname in Tyneside Irish or similar battalions from Glasgow and Liverpool. It seems to me that London Irish was anything but that even before the war (I have a local casualty and have looked at those killed with him-no known Irish heritage). Indeed, it seems that London Irish was a unit that more than most turned a blind eye to under-age recruiting  in 1914 due to the lack of “Irish”  recruits coming forward (Comparing London Irish with the London Bn. of RWF might be interesting) I have covered most of this ground on other threads. Surname analysis is difficult as so many names were common across nations and religions. It can only provide partial answers which can be easily challenged.

 

7)      The long-term trend of the Irish not to enlist in the British Army  (I accept GARBA statistics of Born Ireland as reliable)  cannot be explained away by the rise of Irish nationalism and the exhortations of Irish nationalist parties not to join the British Army. The decline was marked  even before the Home Rule agitation began- or even the Land League. So why was it declining even in the time of  Davitt or even the meek and mild Home Government Association??  I suspect that economic  factors may be strongly at play, rather than political or cultural-let alone nationalist. It is multi-factored. Population, Emigration and Politics were in my view the main drivers. Added to this is the (as yet) unexplained reasons behind exceptionally high levels of fallout among Army Reservists in Irish Regiments. Men who theoretically should have reached the Reserve but never made it. 

 

8)      A query re. GARBA statistics. I have previously suggested that in any long data series, one  must look for changes in the methodology-Let me put up a hypothetical example. It was a surprise to me  that many home battalions of the British Army after the Cardwell reforms were routinely understrength-which suggests to me that  the word “economy” might prevail. This was universal. We are familiar in our own time with concepts such as the under-take-up of benefits-the Government  budgets for the potential take-up but more reliably works on expected take-up, where there is always a short-fall-and, surprise, surprise, a windfall budgetary gain every year. Suppose that the number of recruits  accepted and attested as being fit to serve starts to rise- causing a real rise in costs. Then-possibly-one way of reducing it would be to tweak the medical requirements  to  bring the numbers back down again to a level the public will “accept”. With the exception of the Second Anglo-Boer War the Army was rarely at full establishment (if the Militia and Volunteers are included). The Regular Army was often close to establishment but occasionally under strength.  Aside from the structural deflation in the size of he Army, there was a requirement to significantly lower the numbers after the Boer War where special terms for early transfer to the Reserve were offered. This is well documented and largely impacted the few regiments that had expanded to four Regular Battalions during the Boer War and were later reduced to two regular Battalions such as the Northumberland Fusiliers, King's (Liverpool Regt) etc. It explains why for example the Northumberland Fusiliers had the largest number of Army Reservists per paired Battalion in Aug 1914. Despite this happy consequence of the Boer War, the regiment still ran out of Fully Trained and Effective men in Apr 1915. This is not widely known or understood.

(A good example of how rules and laws are tweaked is William Shawcross:The Motor Car and Politics 1896-1970”- car driving really took off in the 1920s-with a consequent rise in road deaths-yet, there was no  great outcry about the number of road deaths until they got past c.3,000- that this was a figure that the public “accepted”-Below that the randomness of road deaths  meant the totality did not hit home-above that public concerns started to increase-Shawcross suggests that subsequent road traffic legislation only came about when the number of road deaths started to bubble upwards and the laws were tweaked to being the figures back to the 3000 level or less).

    What I would like you to run is  the long-time  statistical series of Numbers of Recruits Presenting for Enlistment v. Numbers Accepted/ Refused. An example of this has already been posted. I have a suspicion that in the years before the Boer War, then a rise in percentage of recruits accepted might be suddenly tweaked by a change in the medical standards for recruits. It’s just a suspicion but  GARBA statistics are reliable for Irish Born. They are not reliable over a long time series without knowing background changes in  what might cause the GARBA figures to vary. I have data as far back as 1892. The Army constantly tweaked its criteria for recruits, using the adjustments as shock-absorbers. These tweaks might for example change some medical requirements (height, chest measurements etc) and result in lower quality recruits. There are some interesting papers on this by academics highlighting the consequences. The tweaks were usually done by Arm; by focusing on the Infantry (the largest subset) we will have a more statistically robust set and will be able to compare Irish units with Scots and English infantry units as Control groups. 

 

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Michael Pegum
On 6/11/2017 at 17:49, QGE said:

 

The 6th Earl of Longford being a Catholic and a Nationalist helps highlight your point that not all Anglo-Irish were Protestant or Unionists.  For the majority of us who do not have an intimate understanding of Irish history, I believe it is a common (incorrect) assumption that Anglo-Irish were all Protestant Unionists. The anomalies are of great interest. I note his father (the 5th Earl) died at Gallipoli with the 2nd Mounted Brigade at Scimitar Hill which again helps illustrate the fact that Anglo-Irish were serving beyond the confines of 'Irish' regiments. He (the 5th Earl) was originally a Life Guard -a regiment with historically low proportions of Catholics in 1914. As a peer he is easy to trace, however the Anglo-Irish who were not titled are doubtless a more elusive group. 

 

The 6th Earl, though a Nationalist, was a Protestant, as were his family before him. His brother, Thomas Pakenham, the historian (the 7th Earl), was the one who converted to Catholicism.

The 5th Earl had progressed to be Lt. Colonel commanding the 2nd Life Guards, his old regiment, by the time he retired on half-pay in 1911, but he was appointed Brigadier commanding the 2nd South Midland Brigade in 1912.

 

For researching the 'Anglo-Irish' who were not titled, Burke's 'Irish Family Records' of 1976 covers many of them in detail. 

 

Michael

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8 hours ago, Michael Pegum said:

 

The 6th Earl, though a Nationalist, was a Protestant, as were his family before him. His brother, Thomas Pakenham, the historian (the 7th Earl), was the one who converted to Catholicism.

The 5th Earl had progressed to be Lt. Colonel commanding the 2nd Life Guards, his old regiment, by the time he retired on half-pay in 1911, but he was appointed Brigadier commanding the 2nd South Midland Brigade in 1912.

 

For researching the 'Anglo-Irish' who were not titled, Burke's 'Irish Family Records' of 1976 covers many of them in detail. 

 

Michael

 Thanks Michael. I thought he was an Anglo-Catholic. I will amend my data. 

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voltaire60

  Thank you for your excellent comments on your work.  2 small speculations that you may have details of already:

 

1) "Disappearing" reservists. I can't  see any reason for this other than migration at the end of short-term service engagements. It makes no sense for anyone to avoid the responsibilities of the reserves if they have already volunteered for Regular service. Would the service records available online for Canada and Australia give any clues?  I note the Anzac site gives the ability to search by place of birth-and there are a fair few Irish-born Australian volunteers. I wonder how many of them might have declared previous military service-which might still put them notionally in reserve status. I have mentioned it once before- that in Canada at least, those who were still technically British Army reservists still enlisted in Canadian units  1914-There must have been some sort of agreement somewhere that  this was allowed- to denude Dominion forces of a backbone of ex-Regulars of the British Army would seem rather daft.

 

2)  One small factor that I have not seen anything on is "improvement"- The common perspective is that those who enlisted pre-1914 were the bottom end of society and usually did so from poverty.  But how about army education????   The army trained for trades  and provided teaching  for improving literacy- a requirement  for promotion to NCO. Wellington's misquote about the scum of the earth has prevailed for too long--- In the Edwardian years how did the Army make "fine fellows" of them??

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Guest
On 6/13/2017 at 19:29, voltaire60 said:

  Thank you for your excellent comments on your work.  2 small speculations that you may have details of already:

 

1) "Disappearing" reservists. I can't  see any reason for this other than migration at the end of short-term service engagements. It makes no sense for anyone to avoid the responsibilities of the reserves if they have already volunteered for Regular service. Would the service records available online for Canada and Australia give any clues?  I note the Anzac site gives the ability to search by place of birth-and there are a fair few Irish-born Australian volunteers. I wonder how many of them might have declared previous military service-which might still put them notionally in reserve status. I have mentioned it once before- that in Canada at least, those who were still technically British Army reservists still enlisted in Canadian units  1914-There must have been some sort of agreement somewhere that  this was allowed- to denude Dominion forces of a backbone of ex-Regulars of the British Army would seem rather daft.

 

2)  One small factor that I have not seen anything on is "improvement"- The common perspective is that those who enlisted pre-1914 were the bottom end of society and usually did so from poverty.  But how about army education????   The army trained for trades  and provided teaching  for improving literacy- a requirement  for promotion to NCO. Wellington's misquote about the scum of the earth has prevailed for too long--- In the Edwardian years how did the Army make "fine fellows" of them??

 

Volt

 

1. I have the returns for Army Reservists given permission to serve out their obligations overseas* -  An Army Reservist needed could not emigrate without permission, so the numbers will be recorded somewhere.... The numbers run into the low thousands (less than 8,000 and 5.5% of the Army Reserve - roughly one in twenty), with Canada at the top of the pile.. I have posted the page with the data on GWF before. I will add it here when I relocate it (Edit: see below). I think it will only explain part of the process. The pay for an Army Reservist was valuable income for next to no commitment in terms of training. Paid quarterly (I think) it would add a slug of income to men who were not necessarily in work. There is data on the number of Reservists accepting Poor Relief through the years, suggesting not all Reservists could make it in Civvy Street.   I have not crunched the data, but my sense is that while emigration will explain part, it does not explain all of the discrepancy. I suspect being poor and without work in southern Ireland in 1907-1913 was harder in Ireland than in England, simply du to the employment opportunities and the consistency in available work.

 

We also have to consider those on the Reserve who found significantly better employment after emigrating and decided that the War wasn't for them when called up. Mythology will have us believe that everyone on the Reserve turned up the day before they were supposed to. I suspect this is fuelled by Regimental historians and a large pinch of hyperbole. While most did return, surely some didn't, and if we accept this, how many and from which Regiments? Again there should be returns that record this. The 'no shows' have been heavily masked by heroic tales of those overseas Resevists who made it back. 

 

The PPCLI was formed from British Reservists based in Canada. It has always been unclear to me whether they were Amy reservists still on the hook, or ex-Army Reservists; effectively 1,000 re-enlisted men. It would be interested to understand the logistic plans for the overseas based Army Reservists - were they expected to make their way back to their Depots or was there a plan to consolidate and integrate them into the domestic troops of the various countries forming the Empire. 

 

The Leinsters were of course the Royal Canadians and is a tangible link to the fact that Canada was a popular destination for Irish emigrants. There is no reason to believe that this trend did not extend in the 1890s and 1910s as emigrants tend to follow established and successul routes, often linking up with kinsfolk. My speculation.

 

2. This is a blank sheet.

 

* including  in Germany. I have often wondered who they were and what their stories were. 

 

MG

Overseas Reservists.JPG

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voltaire60

   Thanks Martin- Most informative.  The file reference below suggests that at some stage British reservists in the Empire could still draw reserve pay-which suggests some sort of listing, somewhere,sometime as to who they were in the event of recall.  I have some bits and pices to look up at Kew late next week, so I will drag this particular file out:

Reference: WO 32/9146
Description:

RESERVE FORCES AND MILITIA: General (Code 57(A)): Reserve pay for reservists residing in the Colonies and Dominions. Arrangements for reservists to draw reserve pay while residing in British Colonies and Protectorates. Amended pay warrant Question of enlistment into Army Reserve of men in British Protectorates and Dominions

Note: WO 32/9144-9152 were attached when in use at the War Office
Date: 1906
Held by: The National Archives, Kew

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Airshipped

If looking specifically at the number of 'Anglo-Irish' families you'll find that even those with Irish estates have - from the mid-19th century onwards - a marked tendency for English-born children. I doubt it relates to maternity services on the two islands (home birth on the family estate was the norm), but probably reflects the families' centre of interest being London rather than the Irish estates. Take Augusta Persse, Lady Gregory, for example: her son Robert (about whom Yeats wrote so many poems) was born in London - though the family moved between their London and Galway centres of economic interest on a regular basis. It's therefore often very difficult to rely upon place of birth when it'd conflict with next-of-kin address in many cases. (For the particular segment of the officer class that you're examining it's quite likely that the issue will crop up again and again). 

 

Yes, Burke's Irish Families is a good source, but by the time of the 1958 edition (let alone the 1976 one) the percentage being both English-based and English-born had increased dramatically. Hard to come up with reliable figures, as the families inter-marry etc and some are dropped between the editions, i.e. like comparing apples with oranges.

 

Useful free source on various landed estates, including both family names and estate names/locations:

 

http://landedestates.nuigalway.ie:8080/LandedEstates/jsp/

 

Of course it'd need to be reconciled to Michael Pegum's Irish War Memorials, which shows than in many parishes there's often  a family plaque in a small Church of Ireland or Methodist church:

 

http://www.irishwarmemorials.ie/Wars

 

I've done quite a bit of spadework on the Irishmen in the flying services. I suppose from that angle it'd be useful to mention that many of the self-declared Irishmen, such as Robert Raymond Smith-Barry, were English-born. Many others, despite the Irish next-of-kin address, were born in English garrison towns, e.g. AVM William Foster MacNeece (later Foster by deed poll) almost-always used his Castle Cary address in the pre-war and wartime era, even though he was seldom resident in Co Donegal. And he was actually born in Aldershot, where his father was serving with the RAMC. I've encountered approximately 7,000 Irish-born in the flying services in the 1913-1918 period but - as per the above examples - I've 300+ who are regularly described as 'Irish' or who describe themselves as Irish and yet were English-born (or Indian-born, if the family were in civilian or military service). 

 

I know, the foregoing adds nothing to your interest in obtaining reliable statistical data but if you're exploring such a narrow segment of the population you'd be surprised at how a small number of fatalities in the Boer Wars could affect the lineage, i.e. quite apart from the Land Acts of the 1880s-1920s, not to mention the political upheavals of the 1920s.

 

 

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